Reston, Virginia - A bill to establish a "Digital Coast" program, where the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) develops a coordinated and comprehensive national mapping effort for coastal, state and territorial waters of the United States, has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, earning praise from MAPPS.
The Digital Coast Act of 2012, H.R. 6475, was
introduced Sep. 21, by U.S. Representatives C.A. "Dutch"
Ruppersberger (D-MD) and Don Young (R-AK).
MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello said,
"The 'Digital Coast Act' is needed to realize the concept of a 'Digital
Coast' as recommended by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). The Digital
Coast Act provides an opportunity to help America's ocean, coastal and
shoreline areas by addressing issues raised by the U.S. Oceans Commission, the
Pew Commission, as well as several NAS reports, all of which have highlighted
the need for surveying, charting, remote sensing and geospatial data of
America's coasts, harbors, ports, shorelines and ocean resources critical to
the nation's most basic economic and recreational activities, to smartly
conserve a fragile environment."
MAPPS President Richard "Dick"
McDonald, CP, PLS (T3 Global Strategies, Inc., Bridgeville, Pa.) said,
"This Digital Coast program within NOAA will also coordinate the pooling
of resources from multiple agencies (federal, state and local) and other
stakeholders to map the various needs once, and then utilize and apply the
high-quality data and products numerous times, thus reducing taxpayer waste
while maximizing the return on investment for all stakeholders."
The "Digital Coast" is a
geospatially-enabled program to improve coordination and support work with
stakeholders to identify geospatial priorities; improve coordination of coastal
mapping and management activities; use standards and standardized methods for
data acquisition, processing and distribution to ensure broadest utility of
data; promote best practices when applying geospatial data for coastal decision
making; and contract for the collection and creation of quality non-navigation
feature data sets to include: shoreline change, satellite and aerial imagery,
land use and land cover maps, benthic habitat mapping, terrestrial topography,
shallow water bathymetry and submerged aquatic vegetation.
"In 2009, Congress enacted Public Law
111-11 creating an integrated oceans and coastal mapping (IOCM) program. This
language required the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) to develop a plan to acquire, disseminate, establish
standards and provide services in connection with various types of geospatial
data. Although this language was a step in the right direction, H.R. 6475 is
needed to truly satisfy the robust concept of a 'Digital Coast' and we commend
Reps. Ruppersberger and Young for working in a bipartisan manner to do
so," concluded Palatiello.
MAPPS Applauds Introduction of Digital Coast Act in U.S. House
September 24, 2012